This research on property portfolios and rental situations will form part of a new report on the buy-to-let market and the effect the pandemic has had for both landlords and private tenants.
The data shows that 46% of landlords reduced monthly rent payments during the pandemic for their tenants. A full rent payment holiday (up to three months on average) was granted by 28% of landlords and 18% gave a rent reduction (of up to four months on average). Landlords that gave a payment holiday to tenants estimated an average loss of £7,500, whilst rent holidays cost landlords an average of £6,500.
Over a third of landlords had proactively offered a rent holiday or reduction, and 45% said they came to a mutual agreement with their tenant.
The survey also found that portfolio landlords were more likely to have granted a rent reduction or holiday than single property landlords, with 59% giving a rent reduction for more than one of their properties.
John Eastgate, managing director of property finance at Shawbrook Bank, said: “No amount of foresight could have prepared landlords, or tenants, for the impact of the pandemic.
“During this incredibly difficult period, landlords acted pragmatically, recognising the additional strain their tenants were under. In fact, in many cases landlords were initiating the conversation around cutting rents to ease their financial burden.
“This period has clearly underlined the critically important role that the private rental sector is playing, and will continue to play, in the UK housing market. Responsible landlords have shown their reliability during a crisis, understanding the changing needs of their tenants and acting quickly.
“Solid fundamentals will underpin the market going forward, landlords and investors should look to a positive future. There is a strong argument to suggest that landlords in regional locations have never been in a better position to profit, while city centres will continue to represent good value as workers head back to the office, even if it is on a part-time basis.”
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